GENEVA, Switzerland – An all-new Kia Soul EV (battery car) will, the automaker says, will bring long-range, zero-tailpipe emissions, power to the urban crossover class.
This the the third globally-sold Kia electric vehicle will have its European debut at the March 2019 Geneva International Motor Show.
Kia says its pioneering urban crossover, now in its third generation, has become more distinctive, dynamic and innovative. ”While the Soul EV embraces the iconic design and playful character of its predecessors, ” the media informations says, ”it will be powered in Europe exclusively by electric energy with a choice of two long-range, zero-emissions, power trains.”
The ”new-generation” battery packs powering the Soul EV are, the company says, as much as 30% more energy-efficient than Europe’s current best-selling electric vehicle.
Kia Motors Europe boss Emilio Herrera claimed: “The Soul has, since its inception, been a pioneer for Kia as well as the wider market. It established the urban crossover segment a decade ago and when the Soul EV was the first fully-electric crossover.”
The all-new Soul EV, he explained, would break ground with its extended-range electric power train as standard – no internal combustion engine.
“The market has changed significantly in recent years. In 2018 – the outgoing model’s final year – Kia sold more Soul EV units in Europe than it did petrol and diesel versions combined.”
Kia, which today claims to be a global leader in battery vehicles, has a range of mild-hybrid, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. Such units accounted for one in every eight Kia cars sold in Europe in 2018.
SET FOR SALE BY APRIL
”It was one in 10 in 2017,” the automaker said, ”and the Soul EV five-seater will build on this momentum.”
In Europe, each Soul EV will be sold with Kia’s ”unrivalled” seven-year, 160 000km warranty, cover including their motor and battery pack.
The Soul EV will reach European markets by April 2019.
But more about the car itself…
Kia claims it has the same ”iconic design and playful character” of the first- and second-generation Souls, given its redesigned lines and lighting elements.
”It’s the most futuristic, youthful and innovative iteration yet.”
Every exterior panel is new, Kia says, yet is still instantly recognisable. The cars have full-diode headlights, bumpers front and rear extend across the full front of the 1.80m-wide car.
DIODE FOGLIGHTS, NO GRILLE
Given there is not the cooling required of a conventional engine there’s a smooth panel in place of a grille and the charging socket is behind a small panel. Strake-style diode foglights below the headlights have replaced the round lights on the previous model.
The new Soul is 4,2m long (5.5cm longer than before) with a 2.60m wheelbase (+30 mm) and a 15mm longer front overhang. The windows taper towards the rear. The Soul EV’s tyres will wrap unique five-spoked 17” alloy rims.
Seven single-tone paint finishes and seven two-tone combinations will be available.
Buyers in Europe can specify an option pack which adds bolder wheel arches and sills, and a skid-plate under the nose.
Depending on model and market, the cars will have synthetic or leather upholstery. Cabin colour and trim are black or two-tone grey cloth (light and dark grey) with ”pearl” door trim. Those with in black cloth can add gold or green contrast stitching; leather can have red stitching.
There’s a wireless phone charger; seats can be heatable and ventilated – and a Harman/Kardon sound can be installed. As can a head-up display behind the steering-wheel.
The EV will have a choice of long-range (64kWh) or standard-range (39.2kWh) 395Nm power trains whose range has been improved by 39%. The long-range 64kWh battery pack is paired with a 150kW electric motor which can mange 450km, the smaller unit 280km.
COP A CROISSANT WHILE CHARGING
A direct-current fast charger is fitted to each unit to recharge from 20% to 80% in about 40 minutes from a 100kW fast-charger – about time for a coffee and croissant at a roadside charging station.
The 26cm touchscreen satnav screen can also handle Bluetooth. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – entertainment while you recharge.
Passive crash protection includes crash bags all round, stability and traction control.